All day long moms have many decisions to make, what to cook for dinner, whether to do two spelling lessons or not, if we should go to the library today or tomorrow, etc. We have all kinds of decisions to make and one of the biggest and longest lasting as far as long-term impact, is whether or not we should buy this or that . . . or not. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself when faced with talking yourself into taking it or leaving it.

1. Do I have a place to put it?

Do you tend to make impulse purchases and then have to deal with where to put it and how to use it? I’m especially challenged in this area when garage sale or thrift store shopping. Come on! A deal is a deal and where to put it and how to use it don’t often enter into the decision. It’s a grab it now or someone else will!

So, let’s make a conscious decision to stop and think before we buy. Make purchasing decisions based on knowing exactly where it will go in your home. If you do, chances are you won’t make that impulse purchase after all!

2. Do I absolutely love it?

This question won’t work in every case. I mean, I don’t love my vacuum; I just love what it does to my carpet! But this is a great question to ask yourself when you are trying to decide whether to keep an item, or get rid of it. If you cannot honestly say you absolutely love it, chuck it!

3. Is it a time or money saver?

If you can’t use it for one of these, and, if it doesn’t bring you joy when you see it, let it go!

4. Will it still be current when I need it again?

Saving clothes, shoes, and textbooks between kids is rather risky. I like to use the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out.” Clothing styles change rapidly as does technology. It’s easy to replace clothing from thrift stores and it’s just too easy to find the most up-to-date information on the web to keep many books.

5. Am I hard up for hard copy space?

Saving papers means we need storage space AND we need to be able to relocate where we stored it. Rather than printing from your computer, save a copy to your computer. Create different folders on your computer or better yet, store it on a removable or external drive the size of a pair of fingernail clippers!

6. Am I hanging on to it out of obligation?

Let’s face it; we all feel a twinge of guilt when we think about not keeping a gift. It’s good to ask ourselves the question of whether or not we’re keeping it out of obligation. If we are, then we need to remember that a gift is given without strings or obligations, and the receiver is free to do as they wish with the gift.

7. Will it affect me financially if I toss or shred it?

There are many places that you can get advice on what financial records you need to keep and for how long. Beyond that, you can shred financial papers without fear. If it’s a receipt for an item you still own that is under warranty, by all means keep it with the owner’s manual, but other than that, fear not!

8. Do I really need to buy it or can I rent it?

Movies, carpet cleaners, sewing machines, foot baths, etc. How much have you purchased that you only needed once or twice a year? In most cases, rather than owning and thus storing, you can rent much of what you use.

Let’s think about entertaining. If you entertain infrequently and need some warming trays and large beverage dispensers for coffee, tea, and/or a cold drink, the charge to rent isn’t usually anywhere near the cost to purchase and you don’t end up with clutter that you have to store!

9. Do I use it?

Why do we keep things we don’t use? If we don’t use it, lose it! If we don’t wear it, donate it! If we don’t eat it, get rid of it! Think how much less work there will be around the house if we don’t spend all our time maintaining stuff we never use, wear or eat!

10. What’s the worst case scenario if I get rid of it?

By trying to figure out the worst `what-if’ we can be assured that in all likelihood, it won’t ever be an unrecoverable act to get rid of something.

For example, say you shred your bank statements and end up needing a copy of one of the statements? No problem, simply contact your bank for another copy!

Or, if you have scanned and stored copies, you have them at the ready without having paper taking up valuable space. In nearly all cases, recovery is that easy!

I hope the 10 questions to ask yourself give you clarity while making decisions on whether to save it or wave bye to it.

What question do you have the hardest time with?

Author's Bio: 

In 1997 Lorrie began publishing the award-winning magazine for homemakers, formerly TEACH, now called Eternal Encouragement. Today Lorrie is the author of way too many books and a speaker known for making you laugh with life-changing godly wisdom. She has a zany fun-filled heart who desires more than anything else to look more like Jesus and be used by the King in the lives of mothers, speaking words of encouragement, exhortation, how-to’s, and real-life help for moms.